South Carolina’s starters didn’t get a chance to pad their stats Saturday in a 70-10 win, but coach Steve Spurrier is just fine with the result.
The Gamecocks exited their spanking of Coastal Carolina with a clean bill of health. Part of that was a refusal to play star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles and running back Mike Davis in a game that was sure to be a blowout. But, also, Spurrier made sure to yank key starters like quarterback Connor Shaw from the game in the first quarter, once the score was out of hand.
Shaw only played the first three possessions Saturday.
“We probably do it a little differently than a lot of schools,” Spurrier said. “I notice a lot of schools let their guys stay in there until they get 50 or so, maybe.”
Not every team was so lucky.
Georgia lost senior quarterback Aaron Murray for the season Saturday when he tore his ACL with 2:17 left in the first half at Kentucky. The Bulldogs jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter, scoring touchdowns on their first three possessions, just like South Carolina.
Unlike South Carolina, Georgia kept its starting quarterback in the game.
Murray was injured on an interception, ending a drive that could have given the Bulldogs a 35-10 lead in the second quarter. Georgia went on to beat Kentucky 59-17, but the feeling of loss surely lingers after watching arguably the program’s all-time greatest quarterback exit the field for the final time.
The misfortune wasn’t lost on the Head Ball Coach when he had his weekly teleconference Sunday.
“It was sad that Aaron Murray got hurt,” Spurrier said, continuing his quote above. “I don’t know what time of the game he got hurt, but it always doesn’t make sense if you get one of your best players hurt when you’ve got a comfortable lead.”